"The start of the new year ushers in a series of new regulatory, compliance, and legislative changes that could potentially affect your small business."
If you are a small business owner (or maybe even a small business employee or manager), you already know that you’re facing a host tax changes, new regulations and compliances issues. Business News Daily recently ran a brief checklist hitting highlights. If you’re not set to deal with each of these, consider sitting down with your accountant or business advisor to implement some plans now.
- Tax changes – Consult your tax and payroll advisors to ensure compliance with all the new tax changes, including the partial payroll tax holiday.
- Health care reform – If you purchase health insurance for your employees, you may qualify for a business tax credit. Also note that health plans that were in place on March 23, 2010 are “grandfathered” and do not have to add many of the new protections required by health care reform. If you make significant changes to those plans, however, you may lose your “grandfathered” status.
- FSA plans – If you offer (or participate in) a Flexible Spending Account plan, note one big change: effective January 1, 2011, over-the-counter medicines and drugs other than insulin will no longer be eligible for reimbursement without a prescription.
- Unemployment Insurance rates/changes – Because of high unemployment rates, many employers will see a trend toward higher employer UI contribution rates higher.
- IRS audit defense / IRS enforcement activity- To help collect more tax revenue in this era of budget deficits, the IRS is ramping up its enforcement efforts in several areas. In 2010, the IRS kicked off an employment-tax audit program that will carry into 2011. These audits are focusing on employee misclassification, executive compensation, fringe benefits, and adherence to general employment tax filing requirements. Further, the IRS is accelerating efforts to increase tax compliance among employees who collect tips.
In my practice as a Utah tax attorney, I am seeing first-hand the impact of increased IRS audit and enforcement activity, as well as the impact of the other items above on my clients' businesses (and even on my own business). I highly recommend consulting with professionals to assure your business remains compliant with tax, health care, and other important business regulations.